World

Gang Members Steal $40 Million, Use Rocket Launcher (Video)

| by Michael Allen

A gang of up to 50 armed people attacked a police headquarters in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, on April 24, and stole up to $40 million from the Prosegur security firm (video below).

Police believe this so-called "robbery of the century" was committed by members of First Capital Command, a Brazilian drug gang, reports RT.

The thieves used an explosive to blow open the security firm, which took the life of one officer who was on guard duty, noted BBC Mundo.

Public prosecutor Denise Duarte said the security firm's vault was full, and police stated it can hold up to $40 million. Officials have not given a statement about how much was taken.

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According to Duarte, the robbers spoke Portuguese and wore masks.

During the robbery, more suspects stopped law enforcement from responding for two hours by blocking police headquarters with a rocket launcher, explosives and 19 cars.

Justo Zacarias, the governor of Alto Parana state, told the media: "The security firm's premises has been destroyed and the attack caused chaos and terror in the city."

After the suspected gang members completed their robbery, they reportedly escaped in the security firm's armored trucks, which they drove to some awaiting boats at the Parana river, which borders Brazil.

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According to Paraguay's Interior Ministry, Brazilian and Paraguayan police confronted some of the suspects in Sao Miguel do Iguacu, Brazil, hours later.

The Interior Ministry tweeted: "Three dead and four detainees" with a picture of armed security forces standing over a man, who was apparently dead.

A video posted from the same area shows a crowd of people running for their lives at the sound of gunfire.

It is believed at least 12 suspects escaped authorities during a third confrontation in Itaipulandia, Brazil.

Paraguayan Police Chief Luis Rojas speculated the robbers had help from inside the police force.

Brazilian media and officials say at least one officer and three suspects were killed, and at least nine Brazilian suspects were arrested, notes NPR.

Federal Police Delegate Fabiano Bordignon said: "This type of crime is not for amateurs," reports the newspaper Folha De Sao Paulo.

It appeared to have been a well-planned robbery involving many different people.

A mansion was found in Foz de Yguazu, Brazil, which the robbers may have used for their staging area. Search and forensic teams were working to uncover evidence.

Brazilian and Paraguayan police are working together to find more suspects.

Sources: RT, NPR / Photo credit: Arlington County/Flickr

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